Calverton residents complain of illegal rentals, scold town leaders

08/19/2014 9:06 PM |
Former Lakewood resident Douglas Rosenbrock speaks before the Town Board Tuesday evening. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Former Lakewood resident Douglas Rosenbrock speaks before the Town Board Tuesday evening. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Nearly 20 members of the Lakewood mobile home community in Calverton demanded accountability from the Riverhead Town Board during a contentious public meeting Tuesday evening, with residents claiming that illegal rentals and an abandoned mobile home were ruining their neighborhood.

The complaints led to a brief argument between Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who said she wasn’t aware complaints had been filed.

“We didn’t know about it until you sent an email a few weeks ago,” Ms. Giglio told a Lakewood resident.

“You know what, Councilwoman Giglio,” Mr. Walter shot back, “If you spent more time in Town Hall, you’d be aware of this.”

Assistant town attorney William Duffy said in an interview last week that town code enforcement personnel had already met with the owners of the park — Kingsley Management — and have worked to correct code violations there.

Mr. Duffy added that many of the resident’s complaints are beyond the town’s scope.

“A lot of the other complaints are kind of complaints between the residents and Kingsley,” he said. “It seems like it could be violations of Kingsley’s rules or rules of the park, but not something we can act on.”

Douglas Rosenbrock, who said he moved from the community this summer to escape the situation, asked Mr. Walter why it took years for the town to address an allegedly double-subletted mobile home and an abandoned home in the park.

Mr. Rosenbrock also claimed Kingsley was working to “economically evict” the seniors living there, and pleaded with the board to take action against the company.

But Mr. Walter said the town has been addressing code concerns as they have come up and will continue to look into new complaints.

A representative from Kingsley could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Duffy said code enforcement had received four complaints for the two units identified by residents as breaking the town code, not the 20 complaints Mr. Rosenbrock claimed were made.

Several neighbors in the Lakewood community said Tuesday afternoon that they had not seen problems in the park, or said the claims circulating in the community were overblown.

Others there refused to talk to a reporter, saying they feared for their safety from a particular mobile home that housed “drug dealers.” Residents at that home declined to comment on the complaints.

Mr. Walter said police have responded to the area multiple times, and implied that police teams are working undercover in the neighborhood to root out any illegal activity.

psquire@timesreview.com